Thursday, September 29, 2005

Association of Risk Factors for Breast Cancer with Types of Work

Another paper observes that physical activity at work protects women against breast cancer.  This implies a healthier worker effect for breast cancer among women whose work activities are in factories with notable chemical exposures.

It’s well established that women in “professional” jobs are at increased risk compared to those who are not.  Social class and education associate with other “lifestyle” issues like age at first childbirth, diet, time to exercise outside of work.  BrooklynDodger hopes for a quantitative measure of the metabolic activity of various kinds of work, and a distribution of this activity by occupational class.

Kruk, J. and Aboul-Enein, H. Y.
Occupational physical activity and the risk of breast cancer.
Cancer Detect Prev. 2003; 27(3):187-92.

The association between occupational and the risk of breast cancer was analyzed using data from a case-control study of 257 women with breast cancer and 565 control women. After adjusted for potential confounders, women in sedentary occupations had a 29% higher risk, compared to those with the physically medium demanding jobs. For women at age > or =55 years higher occupational physical levels were associated with 53-60% reduction in the risk. There was a significant decreasing trend in the ORs from sedentary to medium work (P=0.001); while no association emerged in younger women.

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